By July this year, passengers on Singapore Airlines (SIA) flights will be able to send a text message of up to 160 characters to an e-mail address or a mobile phone, using their personal in-seat monitor screens and handsets.
Mr Yap Kim Wah, SIA’s Senior Vice President Product & Services, announced this new integrated in-seat messaging service, the first of its kind in the world, with Matsushita Avionics Systems Corporation (MAS) today. MAS is the developer of SIA’s inflight entertainment system and the in-seat e-mail and messaging service enhancement, which MAS calls Inflight Communicator.
The introduction of in-seat e-mail and the short message service (SMS) is in line with SIA’s commitment to provide inflight connectivity to passengers, to enable them to stay in touch. SIA is also studying the feasibility of providing onboard chatrooms hosted on the cabin intranet.
Said Mr Yap, “SMS is popular because it is simple and convenient. Travelling on SIA will take on a new dimension as you can continue to do what you would, as on the ground, and you do not require a laptop.”
He continued: “At the same time, e-mail and chatroom functions are features that would enhance the overall inflight entertainment component of the journey.”
According to MAS Senior Vice President Marketing and Operations Alan Pellegrini, “MAS is very pleased to be working with Singapore Airlines to launch this new and exciting service. Inflight Communicator represents an important next step in the evolution of passenger communication capabilities. Because the service can be delivered using the existing inflight entertainment system, it will appeal to a wide range of passengers and will serve as a complementary product to future laptop connectivity solutions.”
The new messaging service will be offered free during a three-month promotional period, following the launch on selected flights in July. It will be introduced progressively on SIA’s Megatop B747, Jubilee B777 fleet and is available in all three classes of travel.